Recently we had the honor of interviewing Ysidro Macias, Chicano scholar, attorney, and author, about his latest release, Walking the Red Road on Chicanismo: including Chicano identity teatro plays.
What was the motivating force behind this body of work?
The motivating force is to promote a return to a native consciousness, by discussing the existence of a Red nation native worldview, and then describing the Mexica version of this native worldview. Any movement of one’s consciousness requires thought, and that is what this book will hopefully accomplish; to get chicanada, from the barrios to the college campuses, to think about who we are within this society and this life.
Was there a reason you chose to publish this book at this time?
At my age, having creative juices is a blessing, so as long as its there, keep working. This work started out exploring Chicano identity until the espiritus changed my direction into the Red Road orientation. This change occurred one year ago, and events & expressions since, including the Dakota pipeline issue, confirm that a native awareness is on the horizon.
Why do you believe it is important for our people to decolonize?
“De-colonization” for me means breaking away from the traditions/beliefs inherited from the Conquista. So long as we live our lives under these traditions/beliefs, we will live such lives as colonized people. Central to this colonization is the Christian religion, with its worldview that is materialistic and tolerates injustice & inhumanity. Adoption of a native worldview will allow us to live our lives independent of those stresses Christianity and its interpretations impose on society.
Why did you choose to weave theater into the text?
The teatro pieces are a prior personal creative expression reflecting who I was and what I thought 40 years ago. They are also pertinent in presenting Chicano identity issues; and that is what the whole book is about anyway, even the adoption of a Red Road orientation is a Chicano identity issue.